Top Albums of 2021

Honestly, I’m pretty over lists at this point. They’re arbitrary and don’t really reflect anything but someone’s tastes, except here where they reflect the tastes of three individuals…because that’s how we roll. So, take this list with a grain of salt. These are the records we thought were the best, which mostly just means these are the ones we listened to on repeat throughout the year! Feel free to leave a comment on what you think we missed, or why we’re dumb; we love good comment trolls.

Also, because this list is really about crediting the art that made us happy, we wanted it to make you happy too, so we included purchasing links where we could. Read more

Last Week’s Jams, Today (September 13 – 17)

Last week I might have gotten a little carried away; my wife and newborn son were spending a lot of time resting, so I was just hanging out writing about songs all week…something a teacher, soccer coach, dad and label owner typically can’t do. So, this week’s playlist of last week’s hits might be a little longer than usual, but you’re going to be all the better for it. I hope you have a wonderful Monday my friends, and enjoy the jams here!

Ducks Ltd. Share Under the Rolling Moon

I’m worried about Ducks Ltd.! They’re about an album and a half into their career as a band, and they’ve already endured a name change, and now, they can’t stop writing great infectious pop songs. What happens when the well dries up? Will it? Their new album has already featured on these pages with various singles, and that’s before we even get to this heavenly little gem. The drum work and the bass bobbing are clearly driving this car as fast as it can go, rushing to the melody. But, the attraction is that the melodic notes of the vocals seem to kind of work at harnessing the energy, almost absorbing it in order to stretch the song out into something slightly dreamy. The band drop Modern Fiction on October 1st, and there’s not a song you’ll want to skip.

Last Week’s Jams, Today (August 16 – 20)

Let’s start off Monday right, sneaking right in with a great track from the latest Flowertown LP. The rest of our playlist is pretty solid too, as there were some jams last week. I’ll admit I kind of feel like too many people are sleeping on Cindy still, so be sure to check out their latest single in this weeks hits. Plus, it’s great to hear our friends Letting Up Despite Great Faults drop right back in where they left off years ago. Ease into Monday with a playlist of jams we were digging last week…and have a decent day.

Ducks Ltd. Share How Lonely Are You

One of the things that I love about Ducks Ltd is that they up the jangle with this rushed presentation of those chords; it’s that skittering kick that really sells the start of their latest singles. Add in the rhythm section that the duo constructed together in various apartments, and you’ve got this incredible sound that definitely nods to Sarah (particularly some of those Another Sunny Day singles!). The video features Tom and Evan walking around the Niagra Falls area, though each doing it from opposite sides of the border…perhaps playing into the thematic message of the song itself. And all this before I even mention the lovely falling melodies of the vocals, which get a touch up from labelmates the Beths. Their new LP Modern Fiction will be out on October 1st via Carpark Records.

Bops of the Week: July 5th – 9th

Here we are on another Monday, about halfway through the musical calendar, and while I should probably be working on one of those magically meaningless “Midway Best Of,” I feel like I’d be letting down our friends if we didn’t do our wrap-up of the goods from last week. Honestly, and I won’t throw out names, but there are some jams that would certainly make my best of the year list…one in particular. Can you guess it? Also, some of the new stuff by Love, Burns and Normil Hawaiians isn’t streaming, so I linked you to some of their other work you might enjoy. Mostly, it’s Monday, and I like to make this playlist for my friend Marc, so he doesn’t have to read anything and just gets music. Happy Monday folks!

Ducks Ltd. Announce Modern Fiction

After much success with their ATH approved Get Bleak EP, Ducks Ltd. found themselves a new home on Carpark Records, and now they’ve got a brand new record on the horizon. Our first listen has them channeling all things Aussie pop (despite haling from Toronto), with those quickly jangling strums dissected by a more angular guitar; the song runs at full speed instantly, pushing the pace and the melody from the get-go. I love how both sides of the vocals seem to have this wanderlust to them, from the indifference style on the verses to the more exuberant feel of the chorus; they always feel like we’re out there searching for joy together. If you didn’t listen to me with Get Bleak, then perhaps Modern Fiction is the one that will convince you of this band’s greatness; it drops on October 1st!

Ducks Unlimited = Ducks Ltd + New Tune

Not sure what the reasoning, though I’m assuming its legal issues, but Ducks Unlimited have decided to change their name to Ducks Ltd. What? Who cares? Well, for one, I do. But also, the name change comes with the signing to Carpark Records. That also comes with an added bonus, as the label will be reissuing the delightful Get Bleak EP (which I’ve raved about before), only with added bonus tracks. The tune features below features their solid jangling rocks, that sort of Billy Elliott toe-tapping fun, though I think the calming nature of the vocals is finally sinking in with more listens; it was always upbeat indiepop, but that soft underbelly is definitely resonating with this jam. Seriously, more people should make tunes like this. The reissue drops on May 21st.